Jury finds Napa couple guilty of first-degree murder in death of 3-year-old girl

Bay City News
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Jury finds Napa couple guilty of first-degree murder in death of girl
Dual juries in the Kayleigh Slusher murder trial found the mother and her boyfriend guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday.

NAPA, Calif. -- Jurors convicted Sarah Lynn Krueger and Ryan Scott Warner Tuesday of the torture murder and assault causing death of Krueger's 3-year-old daughter at the couple's Napa apartment in 2014, prosecutors said.

A Napa County Superior Court jury returned its verdict against Krueger, 27, around 10:10 a.m., and a separate jury then returned its verdict against Krueger's 29-year-old boyfriend Warner for the death of Kayleigh Slusher.

The juries heard evidence separately against the defendants during the same trial that began May 1.

The defendants face life without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder and a special allegation that the slaying on Jan. 30, 2014, involved torture, and 25 years to life for assault on a child causing death when they are sentenced July 27, Assistant Napa County District Attorney Paul Gero said.

An autopsy determined Kayleigh died of blunt force trauma. Her body had been placed in a freezer, then left in a suitcase on a bed in an apartment at the Royal Gardens Apartment. Napa police found the body on Feb. 1, 2014.

Krueger and Warner were arrested the next day at a BART station in El Cerrito.

The jury hearing the evidence against Krueger reached a verdict Thursday after a day of deliberation, but the verdict was sealed until the other jury reached a verdict against Warner this morning.

The Napa County District Attorney's Office did not seek the death penalty against the defendants.

The trial was held before Judge Francisca Tisher.

"We're pleased with the verdicts. It's what we asked for," Gero said.